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Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy on Monday temporarily blocked Washington state officials from releasing the names of people who signed Referendum 71.
Protect Marriage Washington asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether people who signed the petitions in support of R-71 should have their names made public after a federal appeals court ruling that approved the release of the names.
In September, U.S. district judge Benjamin Settle ruled to keep the names private, claiming that supporters of R-71 feared being harassed by LGBT activists and supporters.
The 9th U.S. circuit court of appeals reversed Settle's decision last week with the support of Washington state attorney general Rob McKenna, reports The Seattle Times. The appeals court ruled that Washington's secretary of state can release the names and addresses of people who signed in support of a public vote.
Protect Marriage Washington argued in its petition to the Supreme Court that state officials changed a long-standing practice of keeping confidential the identities of those who signed referendum petitions.
Justice Anthony Kennedy ordered on Monday that state officials file a written response.